TV movie, 1996
I’ve been doing these non-wrestling Christmas movie inductions for so long I don’t even remember when I started…but if you are somehow new to the site, I always take the last induction of the year off from horrible wrestling and instead write about horrible Christmas movies instead. You can check out the entire collection by clicking here. Without any further adieu, let’s dive into this pile of crap which is tangentially related due to one of its writers being none other than…
Yep, Oklahoma himself, ED FERRARA.
So the story goes like this: I started doing a weekly podcast with Vince Russo (yes, that Vince Russo) where we review every single episode of the 1960’s Batman television series. It’s called Joker’s Mustache, and is available for less than a buck a week over on Channel Attitude. Trust me, it’s well worth the price as we have a lot of fun on the show and have really good chemistry. We also have a monthly show, RD vs. Russo, wherein we debate whatever folks on the WrestleCrap Patreon request. On one of these shows, I brought up the annual Christmas movie induction here, and Russo, seemingly in an attempt to assist, noted that perhaps I should do The Munsters’ Scary Little Christmas.
And I thought, sure, why not? The show was only a half-hour, so even if it sucks, it won’t suck for long. In, out, and I am back to wrapping presents and eating Christmas tree cakes.
Imagine my shock and dismay when I learned not only wasn’t it with the original cast, but it rather was a reboot a full 30 years after the show went off the air.
Worse yet, it wasn’t a half hour, it was…(checks notes)…an HOUR AND A HALF???!!!
Buckle in, sounds like we’re in for a bumpy sleigh ride!
The show begins with various scenes of holiday festivities: shopping malls, children singing at churches, and what I will admit is a very awesome holiday remix of the Munsters theme music. I always liked the original tune, and this jingle-fied version just made my Christmas playlist. I’m always a sucker for that sorta thing, so grade it on a curve.
As all this is going on, we get a group of carolers who head to what appears to be a Spirit Halloween shop getting a Christmas makeover. The door opens, and the girls are mortified when Herman (the dad, who looks like Frankenstein) shows up. They begin screaming which leads to a dumb James Brown joke which leads to…
…an even dumber James Brown dance.
Two minutes in, and I hate this show already.
This may be a record.
So we meet the rest of the family, namely Herman’s wife Lily…
…Grandpa, who brings along mistletoe made of actual toes…
And smoke show niece Marilyn. I know folks raved about the original back in the day, but this woman would steal that girl’s lunch and she’d ask her to do it again. Apparently she is portrayed by Elaine Hendrix, and it looks like she was in a slew of 90’s flicks I never saw. According to her website, “if you watch The Hallmark Channel you can’t miss her during the holidays. She’s starred in FOUR made-for-TV Christmas movies!”
I’ve watched more of those stupid Hallmark movies than I’d ever admit, and they inevitably range from mediocre to horrendous.
In other words, I’d rather be watching one of those, even if she ain’t in it.
Rounding out the group is Eddie, who we are told is completely depressed at this time of the year. Good thing we are told this, because if you try to figure it out from this kid’s acting you’d have no clue. I just spent a good 10 minutes trying to find a suitable screen grab to indicate and the best I got was this one, which says less “I hate Christmas and wish I was back in Transylvania” and more “should I order the BMT or the tuna the next time we go to Subway?”
Turns out he is being bullied by some nogoodniks at his school. The ruffians are so tough, so vile, that they call him names such as MUNSTER CHEESE.
You know what, that’s kinda funny. I like these kids!
Wait, no, they’re bad.
I hate ’em!
In an attempt to cheer Eddie up, the family comes up with all kinds of wacky ideas, including entering a decorating contest, making it snow, getting family from the old country to come over, and ordering the Marquis de Sade Dungeon Action Playset, featured on page 666 of the Fears & Roebuck catalog. I will say this – if you love puns, this movie is for you.
Note I didn’t say if you love good puns, as they kinda just keep throwing darts nonstop with a few of them hitting and the rest just kinda causing you to go, “Stop, please, that’s enough.”
Naturally, nothing goes as planned – Herman, unable to afford the play set, asks for a bonus and is fired instead. The neighborhood decorating contest is always won by the same snooty person. And Grandpa ? With the good Lord above as my witness and I am NOT making this up, Grandpa decides to “make it snow” in a completely different manner: by making drugs for himself.
No, really, this is actual dialogue:
Marilyn: “Is that going to make it snow for Eddie?”
Grandpa: “No, it’s going to make reality fade for Grandpa!”
He then downs a bong of what I am sure is illegal in every country except Iran.
Ah, the 90’s – when rampant drug use was all the rage in family Christmas specials.
Distraught he is unable to afford the play set for Eddie, Herman takes on an array of jobs, including but not limited to gift wrapper, blood donor, telemarketer, and nude model for an artist studio.
Sounds like Grandpa didn’t keep all those narcotics for himself, but gladly shared it with Ed and the rest of the writing staff.
Invites begin showing up for all the family that’s been invited to come out to LA to visit the Munster clan, including a mummy, a wolfman, and the Creature from the Black Lagoon.
Now THAT is weird – this isn’t a kinda sorta look alike, it’s the real deal, because this was created by Universal and they shoehorned all those incredible, iconic characters at various points into this pile of crap.
In the midst of all this, we meet Santa and his two elves, Lefty and Larry. While they are employed by Santa to help with the sleigh’s weight distribution system (don’t ask me, I’m just the reporter here), the two pine for warmer climates filled with cold beer and surgically enhanced super models.
That’s not a joke – at one point, they literally start chanting “Silicone! Silicone! Silicone!”
Ok, THAT really was the 1990s.
At this point, Grandpa teleports Santa to the Munster residence because…I don’t know, he just does.
You’d think this would impress Eddie, but no such luck, with him flat out telling Santa that he doesn’t want any presents – he just wants Christmas to be OVER. Thankfully, he and Santa bond over the fact that they both had to move as kids, Santa to Greenland and Eddie to LA.
Not sure who got the worst end of that deal to be honest.
Grandpa figures out how to zap Santa back to the North Pole, but the elves want no part of that. Rather, they want to do what they “should have done a long time ago – CANCEL CHRISTMAS!”
Finally the age old question of “what happens when you hire wrestling writers to pen Christmas movies?” is answered, with the answer being “nonsensical elf turns.”
And just because this movie hasn’t featured enough drugs, Larry and Lefty slip a mickey into Santa’s figgy pudding with the end result being…
…Santa turning into figgy pudding himself.
No wait, apparently they turned him into a fruitcake.
I won’t lie, I don’t know the difference. I’m not up on old Christmas desserts no one has actually eaten in 80 years.
Also, I am guessing that half this film’s budget went into that prop. I’d say that money wasn’t wisely spent, but someone greenlit “reboot the Munsters as a made for TV Christmas special” so the funding had to go to something I guess.
To pad out the run time (and thus further test my patience), Kris Kringle Cake is given to a neighbor as a Christmas present. At this point, the family determines that Santa is missing, so they head out looking for him. But as they are not aware that he is, you know, a giant novelty pastry, however will they find him?
Answer: they don’t.
After costing the snooty neighbor the decorating contest, she just kinda gives the thing back. Unfortunately, the elves have wrecked Grandpa’s lab, so turning him back into the jolly fat man won’t be easy.
Can Christmas be saved?
And at this point, do we really want it to?
We catch up with Larry & Lefty at the Hog Heaven biker bar, and the Munsters explain that they have to come back and help restore Santa because reasons. The elves have a change of heart after being shamed by a leather dominatrix.
I know you’re thinking I’m lying so…
Yeah, there’s your proof.
One day you will just believe me when I tell you these stupid things.
The elves and bring back a bunch of bikers and they proceed to make toys in Grandpa’s laboratory using a machine called the Toymaster 6000. As if this show wasn’t bad enough, now it’s giving me flashbacks to the end of Santa Claus Conquers the Martians.
Also time out, real quick.
Imagine you are a parent in 1996, and you’ve told your kids about this funny show you used to watch when you were a kid. You learn there’s going to be a Christmas special bringing the characters back and you decide what a fun night it could be for the family.
What you get instead is drugs, elves, and dominatrixes.
So Father Christmas gives Herman a Santa suit, and they fly off in the sleigh together to deliver presents to all the children of the world. Oh, and if you’re asking about the reindeer, they just strapped the leather bar bikers to the front.
One word for that kids: DRUGS.
Let me tie up all the loose plot points for you: yes they won the decorating contest, yes it snowed, yes Eddie got the play set, and yes the whole extended family showed up and sang a stupid Christmas song with the Munsters and the Creature from the Black Lagoon.
Oh, who am I kidding? We all know that ain’t Creature.
Love and miss you Blade.
And with that, I take leave of you all until 2022. I hope you have an amazing Christmas and an incredible year to come!
With All My Love,